Morally Straight?

September 18th, 2012

moralsI recently read an article about the Boy Scouts of America’s continued determination to keep gay men and adolescents from participating in the organization. The leadership uses the argument that being gay is not “morally straight.” The concept of morality and sexual orientation is an interesting one. And in my work as a therapist, I’ve learned that morality is certainly subjective.

I’ve seen many folk – men and women – who, among other reasons, work with me to make sense of pieces of themselves that seem immoral. Whether it’s folk who’ve realized that they are transgender, bisexual, lesbian, or gay or others trying to accept their interest in polyamory or BDSM and other kinks – these folk struggle to continue to see themselves as good, moral people.

Sometimes their struggle is one rooted in religion. Other times it’s one rooted in family, friends, and culture. In any case, the struggle to see one’s true self as good, moral, and correct is the struggle to come to terms with shame. I believe that gender, sexuality and desire is an inherent part of ourselves. How it came to be, while an intriguing and unsolved question, is irrelevant. Most people’s gender or sexual desires “just are”. They can’t be changed by willpower or therapy.

Once most folk can accept that this is who they are, they can move from shame to acceptance – from seeing themselves as immoral to moral. They are then able to see that their gender identity, sexual orientation, patterns of love, or sexual desires have nothing to do with morality. They just “are”. Without question or right or wrong. Or what is “morally straight.”

If you are looking for a therapist or counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact Mike Giordano, LICSW at 202-460-6384 or


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